Judges 11:2 MEANING

Judges 11:2
(2) They thrust out Jephthah.--This was in perfect accordance with the law (Deuteronomy 23:2-3), and with family rules and traditions. Abraham had sent the son of Hagar and the sons of Keturah to found other settlements (Genesis 21:10; Genesis 25:6).

Verse 2. - And Gilead's wife. Whenever Gilead lived, besides the son by the foreign harlot, whom Jephthah represented, he had sons and descendants by his legitimate wife, who claimed to be his sole heirs, and who therefore drove Jephthah from the inheritance of their father's house. They might, as far as the language used is concerned, have been Gilead's own sons, or they may have been his grandsons or great-grandsons, and so either the brothers or the cousins and fellow-tribesmen of Jephthah.

11:1-11 Men ought not to be blamed for their parentage, so long as they by their personal merits roll away any reproach. God had forgiven Israel, therefore Jephthah will forgive. He speaks not with confidence of his success, knowing how justly God might suffer the Ammonites to prevail for the further punishment of Israel. Nor does he speak with any confidence at all in himself. If he succeed, it is the Lord delivers them into his hand; he thereby reminds his countrymen to look up to God as the Giver of victory. The same question as here, in fact, is put to those who desire salvation by Christ. If he save you, will ye be willing that he shall rule you? On no other terms will he save you. If he make you happy, shall he make you holy? If he be your helper, shall he be your Head? Jephthah, to obtain a little worldly honour, was willing to expose his life: shall we be discouraged in our Christian warfare by the difficulties we may meet with, when Christ has promised a crown of life to him that overcometh?And Gilead's wife bare him sons,.... It seems that, after the birth of Jephthah, Gilead took him a lawful wife, who bore him sons:

and his wife's sons grew up; to the estate of men:

and they thrust out Jephthah: out of his father's house, his father in all likelihood being dead, or he would not have suffered it, and what follows confirms it that he was dead:

and said unto him, thou shalt not inherit in our father's house: as he might not, if the son of an harlot, or of a woman of another tribe, or of a concubine; though as Kimchi, from their Rabbins, observes, the son of such an one might, provided his mother was not an handmaid nor a stranger. And it looks as if this was not rightly done, but that Jephthah was injuriously dealt with by his brethren, of which he complains:

for thou art the son of a strange woman: or of another "woman" (e), that was not their father's lawful wife; or of a woman of another tribe, as the Targum; or of another nation, as others, prostitutes being used to go into foreign countries to get a livelihood, and hide the shame of their families; hence a strange woman, and a harlot, signified the same (f), see Judges 11:1.

(e) "mulieris alterius", Pagninus, Montanus; "exterae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Tigurine version. (f) "Pro uxore hanc peregrinam", Terent. Audria, Acts 1, scen. 1. l. 118.

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